In those first few seconds of waking in the morning, when my sleep has been disturbed, my first thoughts are to deny the cause of the sound.
“Maybe the door slammed; maybe a cat jumped over a bucket; maybe a vehicle tyre burst.” So many maybes… but the reality is usually the same. It is a bomb!
“Get up now,” I will say to myself, “If you are not there before the police then you are in trouble.” I always call another photographer, or the Reuters Television producer, to double check, and I hate to hear the reply, “It is a bomb, I heard it too.” But it is the response I have come to expect.
My camera equipment, which lives with me as a constant companion, will be over my shoulder as I call our driver, who lives nearby, and is usually already on the road. Now, all I have to worry about is getting to the scene as quickly as possible. We have to fight our way through heavy traffic, aggressive security forces and angry members of the public.
More than four million people live in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the traffic is my worst frustration. The roads in Afghanistan are often narrow and rutted, with no traffic signals, crazy drivers and a total absence of rules.